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tv   Our World With Black Enterprise  FOX  August 28, 2011 5:30am-6:00am PDT

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welcome. this week we sit down with gospel group mary mary. a new generation of filmmaker makes their way into the wofrl black film. and finally a michigan dent
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hei, a dentist who is changing smiles one at a time. >> they're not your grandmother's gospel groox mixing a secular town with religious lyrics, mary mary goes to a new audience. he sat down with the sisters to talk about music, family and faith. thanks so much for spending time with me today. you all have just spent the last two years basically at the top of the world. you've won grammys, image awards, you've performed at the white house. how are you all feeling right now? >> feeling pretty good. >> feeling wonderful. >> very blessed to be able to do some of the things that you
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dream of doing. to be able to go sing for barack obama. >> to be invited by stevie wonder to sing for barack obama and michelle obama. it was just, it was awesome. we were very much involved in campaigning for them. so it was just awesome. and the awards and all those things, do you what come from your heart and what you enjoy, to be rewarded and applauded by people who are just wonderful. it is amazing. a blessing. >> what's so interesting about you two, you all finish each other's sentences. you seem more like sisters than two years apart. >> my mom says that we're twins born two years apart. >> when you say you do it your way, some secular influences in there. i've heard of people who say, i've heard of people who have been in clubs. and they hear some of your music sometimes. >> sure. we make music for the world. >> our perspective on christian life may be a little bit different. we moved into an urban
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neighborhood and my dad did a lot of prison ministry. and it was a lot of thugs and roughians in our neighborhood. my dad's position was to always share with them. with the nears weren't there, to instruct and encourage and laugh with them. he would definitely give them god but in a way that made sense to them. that's how it translated to us. when we do our brand of gospel, it has those same elements. the regular person that's across the street, i want to go to church but i'll standing outside to listen to the music. i like church but i don't like you very much. i get that. so i want to make make for the person who has been so bruise asked so hurt. i want to go in there but i want god. until that's repaired and they can come in, there's something that we have that you can listen to that can still keep you connected until you get over whatever that hump is. ♪ what are you afraid of ♪ don't you know what you're made of ♪ ♪ one of god's greatest
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creations ♪ ♪ take this invitation >> you all see your work as kind of ministering to people? >> we didn't at first. we just thought we were singing. then you meet people. and they tell you all that they have gone through and all that your music helped them through. and i met a lady who had been wrongfully imprisoned for ten years. and she said i found your cd in there. and they said that's the only thing kept me sane. i had no idea that i would get out and meet you one day. it was an autographed signing. it blew me away. that's ministry. >> it must be hard because you aren't in the normal gospel box. you're at columbia records. you're in main stream outlets. you are performing at the grammy awards and the american music awards. so you all have these secular worldly influences. does that chip away at your faith? >> if this is what god placed you here to do, you do.
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you don't have to try to make something happen that just will happen. you work hard at it. you continue to practice and try to polish and refine what it is, how you do it. if that's what we were placed here to do, to make music for the world but it always shares our faith, that's what it is going to be. we just continue in the vein. >> do i want to be in the tabloid magazine? no. do i want them ripping my life to shreds in a brlog? will i sacrifice who i sing for more sales or bigger tours or more acceptance? not at all. i'm so content and happy. i'm comfortable in my place. i'm comfortable in my skin. when the door is supposed to be open, it will and i will walk through as erica. we'll make through as mary mary. ♪ >> talk to me about this new album though. >> something big.
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>> humming lyrics. i haven't heard a word. i'm getting jealous. >> something big is coming spring 2011. and it is just a collection of songs. >> i'm excited! >> a check of songs that i think is the next stage. if you heard the last album sound, this is the next stage. this song about how you live your life. it is about how do you walk through life. i sang walking. there is a line that says what does my life say about me? does anyone see? can it show that i rock with the greatest? ♪ what does my life say about me ♪ ♪ does it show i rock with the greatest ♪ >> how do you see the current gospel scene? >> it is like the gospel scene a body. like the sxarms the hands. you reach a little farther. then there are people in the center that are the traditional praise and worship leaders,
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choirs, really traditional. then there are those of houston do different thing. i think we make up this body of gospel music. it is fantastic. we support each other and talk to each other. there is accountability and all that. i love donny. he helped us stay focused. there was a point when we fell like, maybe we should just do one more gospel stuff. maybe we should do that. this is where we come from. we've gone to this church and sang at the church. he said what are you guys doing? what are you talking about? and he said, you're supposed to be out there. i don't fit out there. you do. he said you go out there. they're going to play your music in the clubs and it will direct them to the church and to jesus. but we need stair steps that lead us and help us. we all stand on the shoulders of each other and that's how we move forward. i thank god for him so much. sometimes the information does kind of bother you. >> sure, it hurts. >> a little bit. >> every artist, once your music
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become popular, you're not keeping it real. you're not true to whatever it is. how is that? because someone other than people like you and me, like my music all of a sudden? it's not true? and we have to change our perspective. it's like, where did this come from? if we want it to be something other than who we are, do we have that option? yes. are we still doing this because this is who we are? this is what's in our heart? yes. be content with that. we can't make everybody a supporter. you can't make everybody believe. you cannot make everybody believe i'm aligned with you. you just do what you do. you do it from your heart. ♪ >> after the break, the push to get independent black films in theaters. >> movies since the beginning of their existence have shaped the view of people on society. and of cultures.
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and have had so much impact on life in general.
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what does home feel like? it's in the smiles of deserving americans who see their old homes rebuilt and communities restored. share the feeling of home. an established group of black film makers and producers is taking bold steps to get their movies to the big screen. joining me are some of the
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filmmaker. tanya whose film night catches us. writer and director of muslim, an independent film. and gabrielle, thank you all for joining me. there is a lot of talk right now about black film makers and cinema. some say this is a low moment. what do you think is going on? >> i think we're at a great place right now. given the accessibility of our audience which we did not have before. a large issue with getting films out is marketing. and you have to market your film. ten years ago, you could only market it through billboards, trailers, through posters. now you can literally get to anyone online. and that's huge. the social marketing thing is huge. we've used it for our film, facebook, twitter, the whole nine.
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and i think it is going to be a game changer and it already has been. >> why are you acting so crazy? >> we're getting revenge. >> revenge on who? >> terrorists. >> there are no terrorists here. who are you talking about? >> i'm talking about them. >> you honestly think you can come into my country and kill my people and get away with it? >> are you more interested in black film than before? >> i don't know that more people are interested than before. i think that more of the films are kind of getting to people. and i think there's more conversation about these films. so i think that the you hadaudi there and in a way it is allowing itself to be heard. >> you of all people lecturing me on commitment. where you been, marcus? all this time.
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where did you go? it must be nice to just come in and out, pack only what you can take in that little black bag of yours. if you want to have a say about how things go around here, that's available. but you have to stay. >> one of the reasons why people are i think recognizing that black people to go films again is because of the success of people like tyler perry, for example. his films have brought a whole new audience to the theaters. is it really surprising to the world that black people go to movies? >> i don't know how it can be surprising. i think there's so much research that shows that disproportionately, black audiences, audiences of colors in urban communities and outside of urban communities are theatergoers, they're regularly going to the movies to see films. what films are they going to see. >>? 25% of people who to go films are african-american. that makes up the 25% of the
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theatrical film market. and that's to see all kinds of movies. why aren't there more of us in the movies? this baffles me. if so many black people are going to the movies, why aren't we represented there the same as in sports or other aspects of speak entertainment? >> i think movies are hard to make across the board for everybody. i think there is a dollar trail. i think the key really ends up being distribution. how do you reach a lot of people? how do you get them talking about your film? and there is something else. i think it is how do you reeducate people in a way to kind of watch different kinds of films. >> those are two really important points. the first one you mentioned is this idea of distribution. getting studios to recognize the value of black film and black audiences. if we go to the theater, why don't they see that? why aren't they pouncing on this the same way as hip hop music or the same way they do football
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players or basketball players? >> one thing i would like to say, you said getting studios to recognize the value of black film. that's one way to go. i think it is also, how do filmmakers individually and collectively empower themselves so we don't have to rely on studios. so that we're creating our own innovative distribution model that's are sustainable in the marketplace. that allow our films to reach our audiences and tell our stories. so i think it is getting people to think outside the traditional parameters and constraints that studios will put on our content when it goes through their controls, their vehicles to hit the marketplace. >> what do you say to those folks, and there are plenty who say black folk don't want sophisticated content. the reason why these films are successful is that's the stuff black people wantto see. when it comes to black audiences, they want something very particular. >> i think people want to see
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reflections of themselves. people want to participate in the rest of the world and talk about politics and culture and religion and all the things that affect us in our daily lives. i think it has to be put out there. it has to know packaged in a way that it is accessible. >> and part of what do you, gabrielle, create space for artists to have their films shown. to have wider access. how do we get over this hump? how do we get the masses to recognize the value of independent film? >> one of the thing urban world is doing, we're part of a movement called the flil. it is the african-american film festival. it is essential lay new district model. essentially amc independent is going to on march 11th, open a film that will be the pilot of the new program. >> i'm first generation. >> clearly. >>. [ laughter >> i'm what would be termed an
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o.g. >> is that the o.g. walk? >> we'll have national publicity happening. we'll have local publicity. five markets, new york, l.a., seattle, atlanta, philadelphia. they've identified a film festival who will be the on the ground grassroots movement. and really drive awareness. really drive promotion and set this up so people can see when you have a film that is in theaters, you're going to get that national exposure. you'll have sally richardson whitfield who is the star of the show doing national publicity. whether it is on the rachel ray show, driving that mass awareness. >> is there a particular responsibility that you all feel as black independent film makers to make black film? what if you want to write something about 13th century england. do you feel like you're betraying your calling or your opportunity as black filmmakers? >> i wouldn't. i make films about what is important to me. i feel as a filmmaker, yes, it
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is my responsibility to put content out there. movies since the beginning of their existence have shaped the view of people on societies, and of cultures. and have had so much impact on life in general. and i feel, yes, as a filmmaker, i do have a responsibility to make content that says something. >> thank you so much for being here. up next, a unique dentist who is improving the lives of low income residents. >> it is so enriching when you give back. when you give from the heart. you see the experiences that come out of there. coolest job ever
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you get to ride around in a giant bus with your name and picture right outside chefs get to cook yummy cheeseburgers, pizza, and chocolate everything i would be the pitcher, because they get to do something all the time they get to ride on those trucks and never have to stop for red lights or nothin' and you get to play really loud if your child is sick over and over again, it could be pi a defect in the immune system that affects millions early detection can give children a chance to dream my plan is to be the youngest pitcher to ever throw a no-hitter i'll write a cookbook that's just for kids i know i'm going to be famous, 'cause my mom and dad call me their little star and that pole you slide down...
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cool jeffrey modell foundation 25 years of helping children reach for their dreams welcome back. once a year this michigan dentist donates his services to improve the dental hygiene to these can't afford it. dr. james lee is our slice of life.
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from the mountain top of his office, this young dentist is providing michigan residents with sense that's are free at last. >> i think about dr. king's vision. i look at the work and how we try to embody that here. there will always be the less fortunate among you. >> the need that he refers to is being met every year when he offers free dental care on martin luther king's birthday. >> i started my practice in 1998 in the summer. in that first martin luther king day, there was a family that had some needs. my office, i knew they couldn't afford them. i said come by on martin luther king day. it kind of moved from one family. as a dentist, what is the best way i can give back? the best way i can give back is what i'm trained to do. >> he said when he accepted his diploma and walk across that stage, that he would never leave
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anybody in discomfort. that statement was the honest truth. he's never left anybody in discomfort. >> from humble beginnings, this doctor is no stranger to the african proverb, it takes a whole village. >> the community has through my entire life supported me and helped me to get through some challenging times. so part of what i would like to do here is just make a thank you back to people because i have been able to be successful as a dentist. >> so special. thank you. thank you for making the time to come in. i know you're busy. >> it is so enriching when you give back. when you give from the heart and you see the experience that's come out of that. >> giving is something this doctor does freely without hesitation or reservation. >> dr. lee's office, they didn't turn me away at the door. you almost become extended family and they treat you that way. >> what we can do as dentists is recognize that something we can
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do in a few minutes really make a big difference in someone's life. >> i think he is a role model by living his feelings and his love for people is the important thing. >> we have a few thousand people. they're dentists and that's an honor and a privilege. so this is a way of giving back and saying thank you to all those people. >> we'll be right back.
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that does it here for our world with black enter surprise. don't forget to visit us online. check us up on facebook or follow me on twitter. thank you for watching. see you next week. -- captions by vitac --
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